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Thread: Replaced dead battery with LiFePO4 Motorcycle battery, no start, no hazards, no turns

  1. #1

    Replaced dead battery with LiFePO4 Motorcycle battery, no start, no hazards, no turns

    Hello everyone

    I have a...rather curious issue with my 2004 BMW r1150rt. As the title says, I replaced an old AGM battery with a new "Battery Tender" (Deltran) LiFEPO4 motorcycle battery (Part # BTL14A300CW).

    Previously, the bike would start up, albeit slowly due to the dying battery. Now, the bike activates ABS, flashes the brake light, and the red hazard light is lit right underneath.

    I pulled codes via GS911, stating the following:

    3 fault codes found:
    821 Hall sensor 1, no signal - this fault will always occur if engine not running or engine not cranked before reading Fault codes.
    The fault is currently present.
    288 Throttle Position Sensor, Internal Fault on Upper or lower Potentiometer Slider.
    The fault is currently present.
    901. Hall sensor 2, no signal - this fault will always occur if engine not running or engine not cranked before
    reading Fault codes.
    The fault is currently present.

    I also attempted to calibrate the throttle, but kept getting the error that the idle switch was off. I am unfamiliar with exactly WHAT an idle switch on this bike is. Google searches discussed the choke cable on the left handlebar, so I loosened the cable until there was slack, to ensure the choke wasn't on. No change in error message.

    But, here's the most interesting part. With the key in the "ON" position, NONE of the handlebar inputs work. Blinkers, hazards, horn, windshield adjustment, headlight beams...nothing! Previously, I could turn the key to the "ON" position and perform most of these inputs with the engine off.

    I had removed ALL of the fuses (wasn't sure where #5 fuse was, from left-right, or right-left looking at the fuse cluster), and let the bike sit for an hour. I then replaced the fuses from the outside in, ensuring that either #5 fuse would be the last insertion.

    Still no joy. Handlebar controls are still non-functional. Starter doesn't engage. The kill toggle switch works, turning off the transmission shift notification on the LCD and causing the ABS to go silent. I tested turning the bike on in neutral with and without the side stand extended. Pressing on the brake lever when the key is in the "ON" position does activate ABS; ABS doesn't appear to be negatively impacted by this issue.

    Further, GS911 was able to give me the ECU software number and other information on the ECU. In my experience with BMW cars, if a DME (e.g. ECU) is bad, INPA/ISTA cannot read it period. I think that the motorcycle ECU should behave in a similar manner?

    Anyways, I'm at a loss at this moment. I took off the left-side tupperware again, just to verify TPS cable is attached. Again, NO connections, except for air box, were disturbed during the replacement of batteries. And yes, I charged the new battery before installing.

    I am eager to hear any thoughts on potential issues I should check.

    Thank you everyone!

    Mike

  2. #2
    Registered User jnrugg's Avatar
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    Just throwing this out there, if you put the old battery back in how does it act?
    Maybe a bad battery?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jnrugg View Post
    Just throwing this out there, if you put the old battery back in how does it act?
    Maybe a bad battery?
    No good. Just went out and did just that. Battery voltage on new battery is 14.80. Voltage on old battery is 14.35.

    Anything else to try? Could I have maybe ruined something when I connected the negative terminal (I connected positive first)? There was a tiny spark across the negative terminals when I touched the cable to the terminal.

    It's just very odd. All fuses check out fine also.

  4. #4
    Does it have theft protection / chipped key?
    Shawn Conver
    K4CTD
    2011 R1200RT, 2018 Cummins 2500, 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tsconver View Post
    Does it have theft protection / chipped key?
    No, just the standard black rubber keys. How would I verify if it's chipped or not?

  6. #6
    I have BT batteries in all of my rider bikes. Airheads, Oilheads, Harleys, KLR, old Honda's, etc.
    If you are getting a hall effect code, maybe you disconnected something accidentally while installing the battery.
    Could also be a coincidence, or the frayed HE wires had enough juice to finish themselves off.

    No, I'm not affiliated with BT at all. Except maybe I put the owner's kid through college, lol.

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    IBA# 5819 61996's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkeehn View Post
    No good. Just went out and did just that. Battery voltage on new battery is 14.80. Voltage on old battery is 14.35.
    Can't help with your questions but just an observation and question of what you're reporting: Typically, battery standby voltage is 13.v; so why would you replace a perfectly good battery?
    Generally, alternator output voltage is around 14.1v to 14.3v regardless of the battery installed unless there is a huge load on it; like electric clothing and/or heated grips.
    So the standby voltage on both batteries exceeds the nominal output voltage of the alternator?
    You might want to check the accuracy of your voltmeter if you're relying on it for diagnosis.

    Joe
    “Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You cannot withstand the storm.'
    The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'

  8. #8
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Grounds and more grounds

    Check to make sure all of your negative connections, battery forward, are connected.

    I usually will take every ground wire off and clean them.

    The other thing you can do is take your positive post from your DVOM and connect it to the ground. Take the negative post from your DVOM and connect to negative on your battery.

    Crank engine, take reading, if more than 0.5V, you have a ground issue.

    That's a voltage drop test and a powerful tool.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

    “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 61996 View Post
    Can't help with your questions but just an observation and question of what you're reporting: Typically, battery standby voltage is 13.v; so why would you replace a perfectly good battery?
    Generally, alternator output voltage is around 14.1v to 14.3v regardless of the battery installed unless there is a huge load on it; like electric clothing and/or heated grips.
    So the standby voltage on both batteries exceeds the nominal output voltage of the alternator?
    You might want to check the accuracy of your voltmeter if you're relying on it for diagnosis.

    Joe
    First off, it's a Harbor Freight multimeter...maybe that's the problem, LOL.

    I'll break down and buy a proper Fluke and test voltages again. Also, connections are clean, no corrosion.

    But, even if the bike won't turn over...shouldn't minor systems, like the hazards, blinkers and horn work with key on, engine off? Also, the old battery has been sitting on a trickle charger - I have yet to put it on my carbon pile load tester, but I anticipate that its CCA has degraded significantly, given its near-dead performance when starting the bike.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    Check to make sure all of your negative connections, battery forward, are connected.

    I usually will take every ground wire off and clean them.

    The other thing you can do is take your positive post from your DVOM and connect it to the ground. Take the negative post from your DVOM and connect to negative on your battery.

    Crank engine, take reading, if more than 0.5V, you have a ground issue.

    That's a voltage drop test and a powerful tool.
    The engine won't crank at all. Again, only change to bike was swapping batteries. Regardless, I'll try your suggestion.

  11. #11
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    The H/F dvm is "close enough" for basic troubleshooting, whether for voltage, current, or resistance.
    The '04 1150 doesn't have the "disintegrating HES wires" issue.

    The "tiny spark" may have been caused by current flow to the clock (a very tiny bit, though...) or to the starter, alternator, ABS controller, flasher relay, optional equipment connector (including the spare power outlets), radio connector, and the up/down switch for the windshield - these are all connected directly to the battery + by sometimes roundabout routes.

    You say that previously, the bike started "slowly", attributing that to the low battery... It's also easily possibly that your starter was dying, and is now actually dead. Some starters had the magnets come loose and jam it up inside, others just catch a ton of crud in the nose gears (this is cleanable).

    The TPS and the HES both plug directly into the bike's computer; it could be worthwhile to pull the gas tank and verify that that connection is clean, the pins are straight, and it's fully plugged in/seated.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    The H/F dvm is "close enough" for basic troubleshooting, whether for voltage, current, or resistance.
    The '04 1150 doesn't have the "disintegrating HES wires" issue.

    The "tiny spark" may have been caused by current flow to the clock (a very tiny bit, though...) or to the starter, alternator, ABS controller, flasher relay, optional equipment connector (including the spare power outlets), radio connector, and the up/down switch for the windshield - these are all connected directly to the battery + by sometimes roundabout routes.

    You say that previously, the bike started "slowly", attributing that to the low battery... It's also easily possibly that your starter was dying, and is now actually dead. Some starters had the magnets come loose and jam it up inside, others just catch a ton of crud in the nose gears (this is cleanable).

    The TPS and the HES both plug directly into the bike's computer; it could be worthwhile to pull the gas tank and verify that that connection is clean, the pins are straight, and it's fully plugged in/seated.
    Interesting opinion concerning the starter motor. I had done a complete R&R to the bike several months ago (it's a relatively new acquisition) (e.g., new clutch with longer spline, bearings, brake pads/lines, fuel filter, plugs, LED lights conversion all around, new alternator, etc.,) and one thing I did do was disassemble the starter motor's gearing assembly and applied some Honda 60 moly lube on the shaft/fork and sprocket. It was moving back and forth MUCH better after that. I also rerouted the hall-effect sensor wires so it wasn't sandwiched between the alternator and engine block. I know the horror stories of the engine heat over time melting the insulation, causing wire shorts. And yes, I did ensure there was plenty of slack in the hall-effect wires - no wires suffered any strain

    Also, not related to this issue, but I did disassemble my ABS unit to clean out any carbon gunk in the twin electric motors. The motor internals were actually not all that bad, even the contacts had a decent amount of material left. I took some pics of the disassembly, perhaps I'll start another thread and discuss that project.

  13. #13
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Those HES "horror stories" relate directly to the "environmental" insulation that got used on some of the earlier years. That stuff was guaranteed to break down.
    Paging GSAddict and Anton (or anybody who "knows"): Have you heard about any melting HES wires on the later oilheads?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    The H/F dvm is "close enough" for basic troubleshooting, whether for voltage, current, or resistance.
    The '04 1150 doesn't have the "disintegrating HES wires" issue.

    The "tiny spark" may have been caused by current flow to the clock (a very tiny bit, though...) or to the starter, alternator, ABS controller, flasher relay, optional equipment connector (including the spare power outlets), radio connector, and the up/down switch for the windshield - these are all connected directly to the battery + by sometimes roundabout routes.

    You say that previously, the bike started "slowly", attributing that to the low battery... It's also easily possibly that your starter was dying, and is now actually dead. Some starters had the magnets come loose and jam it up inside, others just catch a ton of crud in the nose gears (this is cleanable).

    The TPS and the HES both plug directly into the bike's computer; it could be worthwhile to pull the gas tank and verify that that connection is clean, the pins are straight, and it's fully plugged in/seated.
    I just went out and did a carbon pile load test on the old battery. I came out to 210 amps.

    I think you might be correct on the starter motor. But again, how would a dead starter motor contribute to ancillary items like the windshield adjustment not working when the key is in the on position? I'll remove the motor and take a look at its internals. Perhaps it's something as simple as replacing the contacts? I'll also bench test the starter motor.

    More to follow.

  15. #15
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Strictly speaking, it shouldn't.
    On the other hand, if a bad starter causes over-heating damage to the starter relay and it then "sticks", anything else on that circuit would also be affected (low voltage caused by not enough supply current).
    Several years ago, I encountered an R1100S where a bunch of the wiring harness to the starter had melted - we never were able to decide if the starter burned the relay or the relay stuck and burned the starter.

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